10 Employee Appreciation Day Gift Ideas for 2024

10 Employee Appreciation Day Gift Ideas for 2024

Find the perfect way to say 'thank you' with our top 10 Employee Appreciation Day gift ideas for 2024!

10 Employee Appreciation Day Gift Ideas for 2024

Your employees are the key ingredient in your company’s recipe for success: you rely on them to offer excellent service to your customers, to make the products you sell, to act as your representatives in your community, and so much more.

And to thank them for their hard work, they have a day specially dedicated to them: Employee Appreciation Day. In 2024, this holiday falls on Friday, March 1. It celebrates everything employees contribute within your organization, which is well-deserved.

Ready to boost team morale? Dive into our guide for the ultimate Employee Appreciation Day activities.

While it’s certainly not the only time you should be thanking and appreciating your employees — recognition is a year-round necessity — it’s still a wonderful chance to lavish them with some extra attention, appreciation, and even a special gift.

Wondering what to get your employees to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day? We’ve got your complete guide to gift options right here, no matter where your team works or what your budget is.

Employee Appreciation Day Best Practices

Whatever gift you end up choosing, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind so they have the positive impact you’re aiming for.

First, don’t forget about your remote and hybrid employees, or treat them as an afterthought. That’s damaging for employee morale (don’t worry, this guide has plenty of ideas for you to celebrate everyone equally).

Second, as you’re searching for the perfect gift, keep your unique company culture in mind. What works for one company might not feel so right for yours, and you want your employees to feel this gift truly represents your company.

Finally, the best gift options aren’t the most expensive ones — they’re the most thoughtful and meaningful ones. That requires knowing your employees and what they would enjoy and appreciate the most.

Looking for more ideas for how to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day? We’ve got you covered!

The Best Employee Appreciation Gifts

These ten employee appreciation gift ideas are just a starting point — let them inspire you to find the perfect gift for your people.

1. Gift Exciting Experiences

If your employees are all based in the same area, or you have a few groups of employees who are in specific regions, giving them the gift of experiences they will enjoy is a thoughtful gift. It can even serve as a team-building activity if you do it all together. Or you can gift an experience individually to your team members for them to do when they wish. Experiences are a satisfying and memorable gift, so they’re a great employee appreciation moment.

2. Offer a Relaxation Day

A relaxation day to unwind and indulge in some self-care is a great way to reward your employees for their work, especially if you’re coming out of a busy season. If you’re mostly working in-person, you can offer wellness classes or sessions there, or bring in massage chairs for the day. If your employees are mostly remote or hybrid, you can offer gift cards to a local spa or send them a gift box at home with some pampering items. Tending to their well-being shows them how much you care.

3. Give a (Thoughtful) Gift Card

Speaking of gift cards, sometimes they get a bad rap as a present. And it’s true: if you’re just handing all of your employees a $10 Amazon gift card with no note and calling it a day, that’s not a very thoughtful gift. But a gift card with a personal touch — like perhaps to a bakery or coffee shop you know is their favorite, or a store they love — can be meaningful and appreciated. Your managers can help you pick out personal ideas for each employee if you go this route.

Stay ahead in 2024 with our essential HR Holiday Calendar. Download your copy now!

4. Cater a Delicious Meal

Who doesn’t love to celebrate with a nice meal? If your employees are in-person, you can give them a tasty catered breakfast or lunch to show your appreciation. This can also be a fun team bonding opportunity, as connecting over a meal is a great way to get to know colleagues on a more personal level. And this option isn’t limited to in-person teams: you can also send breakfast or lunch goodies to employees’ houses and join together via Zoom.

5. Send Office Upgrades

Your employees might spend a lot of time at their desks, in the office or at home, if their job requires it. So why not gift them some desk accessories or work great to make that space more inviting and useful? You could send a nice succulent to spruce up their home office, gift them earbuds or headphones to quiet the noise of your in-person office, or even give everyone a company-branded charger for their devices (no one ever has enough!).

6. Send Everyone a Swag Box

Hopefully, your employees are proud to work for your company. So a gift that lets them show it off wherever they go — some company logo swag — can be a great present for remote and in-person employees alike. The key to a good swag gift is making sure you’re offering them something they really want, not the leftover keychains from your recent sales getaway. Ideas for swag include:

  • Tumblers
  • T-shirts, sweatshirts, or other high-quality apparel
  • Tote bags
  • Water bottles

For bonus points, you can encourage employees to take pictures of themselves (if they’re comfortable) with their swag, and share them on your social media platforms for social recognition!

7. Time Off

Sometimes the best work-related gift to employees is the gift of free time, especially if your employees handle a heavy workload. You can show your appreciation by giving them a half or whole day off without using their PTO — time to rest and relax can really boost employee morale and make them feel appreciated.

8. Hold an Ice Cream/Pizza Party

Ice cream and pizza parties are an eternally popular idea for good reason: most people love pizza and ice cream! This is also a great idea for remote and hybrid employees too: send them gift baskets from local businesses with everything they need to join in and Zoom together to enjoy your goodies. You can switch it up too: have a happy hour and send remote employees some drinkware to use too, or have a coffee and donuts chat with everything delivered including a company-branded coffee mug.

9. Send Personalized Notes

A truly great gift doesn’t need to be expensive — a handwritten note from your CEO or another executive leader is also a really good way to thank employees and boost morale. If your company is quite large, a thoughtful and personalized email will do too. It’s a great way to show employees that their leaders care about them and value them.

10. Start an Employee Recognition Program

If you don’t already have an employee recognition program in place, this is a great time to start one. Recognition programs are wonderful because they offer employees the chance to be recognized and thanked all year long, not just on Employee Appreciation Day.

You should choose a program that automatically lets you celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones so employees feel the love all year round. It’s the perfect gift because it boosts employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction — and it’s easy to set up the program you need with Cooleaf. Try it today and see for yourself!

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